tresses, and no taxi drivers who have hadrnseries pilots produced. But what one observesrnemanating from each individualrnsoul is extreme, almost sacramental seriousnessrnwith respect to its predicamentrnat this or that given moment in time.rnUntil it became the mark of the bourgeois,rnthis solemn self-satisfaction used tornbelong to no particular social group andrnmarked equally the upper and the lowerrnclasses throughout Europe. A Germanrngrain merchant (see Thomas Mann), arnRussian nobleman (see Tolstoy), and anrnEnglish orphan (see Dickens) all sawrntheir position in the world as reasonablyrnconvincing, reasonably convenient, andrnreasonably permanent. The main exceptionsrnwere poets, men with bad gamblingrndebts, and Hans Christian Andersen’srnlittle mermaid —all tragic andrnromantic and worthy, yes, but not 99.9rnpercent of the population, either.rnWhat I am trying to say is that the seriousnessrnof the Italian way of life, itsrnsolemn ritualism and its cheerful acce]>rntance, now accounts for the incrediblernfact that only in Italy will one see a motherrnnursing her child or a beggar beggingrnalms or a butcher slicing meat “as if theyrnhad nothing better to do.” They don’t,rnand in the world as it is today, this is arnmiracle well worth watching.rnAndrei Navrozov, formerly Chronicles’rnpoetry editor and London correspondent,rnis now Chronicles’ European correspondent.rnLetter FromrnAlabamarnby Michael HillrnThe League RepliesrnDr. Samuel Francis describes secessionrnas an “infantile disorder” and casts ThernLeague of the South in the role of MargaretrnMitchell’s impetous Stuart Tarletonrnin contrast to the part he imaginesrnhe is playing—the cool, rational RhettrnButler. But if Dr. Francis had botheredrnto read the League’s literature, he wouldrnhave learned that, while we honor ourrnSouthern ancestors and believe theyrnwere right in leaving the Union in 1860-rn61, we do not dwell in the past. We lookrnto a future in which all Americans will bernfree from the intrusion of the Leviathanrnstate. And we don’t hate all ‘Yankees”; inrnfact, the League has chapters in 27 statesrnand members in 48. When we use thernterm “Yankee” perjoratively, we speak ofrnthe smug, self-righteous attitude that stillrnexists toward Southerners in some placesrnabove the Mason-Dixon Line and of arngovernment whose questionable lineagernbegan with Appomattox. The Yankeerngovernment, and not the Northerner, isrnthe target of our criticism.rnSecession, as Dr. Francis has admitted,rnis a legal recourse against tyranny.rnMoreover, he concedes that the South inrn1860 “had an arguable case for separation”rnin order to protect its economic interests.rnHowever, he sees the situation asrnradically different today because thernSouth has been the recipient of so muchrnfederal largesse. While it is true that thernSouth has received more federal dollarsrnthan it has paid out in taxes, this does notrnmean that the region’s interests havernbeen advanced by the government inrnWashington. It is not too difficult to buyrnoff most of the current crop of “Bill Clintonrnis no Jeff Davis” politicians in Dixie,rnbut in the South there are still millions ofrndecent, honest Americans who deplorernthe golden chains of dependency withrnwhich the central state has bound them.rnOne of the dirty litde secrets of Americanrnpolitics is that, over the past 30 years,rnthe South’s congressmen and Senatorsrnin Washington have been consistentlyrnoutvoted on issues such as abortion, gunrncontrol, immigration, and racial quotas.rnConservative Southerners realize thatrnthese enormities have been forced downrntheir throats by the very same Solonsrnwho supposedly represent Dr. Francis’srnMiddle American Radicals.rnI continue to admire Dr. Francis forrnhis outspokenness on the issue of immigration.rnHowever, he is mistaken whenrnhe points to a demographic future of thernSouth in which white Southerners willrnbe a minority except in a few areas of therninterior uplands. This future is likely tornbecome reality only if the national governmentrnis allowed to continue its currentrnopen-door policy.rnIn criticizing the League of the Southrnand its belief that secession should bernviewed as a viable option for all states—rnnot just Southern ones—bedeviled by anrnintrusive federal government. Dr. Francisrnreveals himself as an arch-nationalistrnintent on saving the whole of America.rnBattened on a steady diet of AntoniornCramsci and assorted leftist thinkers,rnFrancis apparentiy believes that a nationrnlost to the liberal-socialist “Creat March”rnthrough its institutions must be reconqueredrnin the same manner. Perhaps itrncould be, if we only had the luxury ofrntime. But already, as mentioned above,rnthe golden door beckoning Third Worldrnimmigrants has been knocked clean offrnits hinges, and it would be naive to thinkrnthat the elites in Washington and Manhattanrnwill bow to the demands of Francis’srnMiddle American constituency.rnMiddle American nationalism, accordingrnto Francis, is the key to “resistingrnthe domination of the ruling class and itsrnantiwhite and anti-Western allies in thernunderclass.” If such a successful resistancerncould be mounted, the resultingrnstate of affairs would indeed be desirable.rnBreaking the stranglehold of the elite-underclassrnalliance should be the right’srnfirst order of business; success wouldrnmean a rebirth of American independence.rnBut is Francis’s vision realistic?rnObviously, Dr. Francis and I disagreernon the means, not the end: liberty andrnself-government. Since its inception inrn1994, The League of the South has stoodrnfirmly for Southern independence. Ourrnposition is based on the fact that thernSouth has always been a “nation” in thernhistorical and Biblical sense: a peoplernwith a distinct religious and culturalrnidentity. Independence, as the League’srnleaders have said repeatedly, can bernachieved by restoring the federal Constitutionrncomplete with the 10th Amendment’srnguarantee of the rights of thernstates. In practical terms, the League’srnmembers support every measure thatrnwould bring about a Constitutional restitution.rnIf such eflForts fail, then it will bernup to the states themselves (not to an organization)rnto determine their future relationshiprnto the union. It is not thernLeague that is seeking to break up thernunion but the various ethnic revengernmovements—Latino, black, and white.rnIndeed, Dr. Francis has lectured torngroups that have indulged in ill-consideredrndiscussions of ethnic separatism.rnHe had better save his unionist rhetoricrnfor racialist organizations that are promotingrnboth ethnic antagonisms and hatiedrnfor the Christian religion that servesrnto unify rather than to divide Americansrnof good will.rnMichael Hill is the president of ThernLeague of the South.rn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn